Friday, June 6, 2014

People: The Talkative Bengali

On my way back to Delhi from Dhaka, I had the fortune to come across this most colourful Bangladeshi who just wouldn't stop talking. Here's what he had to say about life, the universe and everything else.

Sometimes people from Bangladesh go for Hajj and never come back. We can hide and work in Saudi... Even if we are caught, what will they do? They can only send us back.

The Good:
"Bangladeshi ko respect nahin karta log... Indians are respected, on a relative scale at least. Even in Dubai, Indians and Pakistanis were better off. Bangladeshis are seen as idiots. Luckily for me, I learn languages quickly. I can speak Hindi, Bangla, Tamil, Malabari and little Arabi...

You said you are from Chennai? Chaapaadu khaya?"

The Bad:
"Apna gaon me bhi kaala hota hai... (Even in our place, there are black people.) Even in the Arabi gaon, there are a few black people. But I don't understand how the entire gaon in Malabar can be black. Allah kasam, these people must have done something wrong in their previous birth!"

The Funny:
"Noya Bangladesi joyega na, usko kuch nahin maalum hota hai. (When new Bangladeshi goes - to the Gulf - he doesn't know anything.) I had one friend who came to Dubai with me. One day, police stopped him and asked for his pataka. He was confused. He checked his pocket because he was scared and then, he searched the surroundings. He looked at the top of all the surrounding buildings also! Then he got angry with policeman, and shouted at him - 'There is no pataka here! You are trying to play a game with me.'

You see, the problem is that Pataka in Arabi means ID Card. So policeman was asking for his ID Card. But in Bangla, Pataka means flag. My friend was searching for the national flag."

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